UNDATED (AP) – It’s the first Sunday of NFL action with 13 games, following the Denver Broncos’ lopsided 49-27 win Thursday night over the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
Blaine Gabbert will start at quarterback in Jacksonville’s season opener against Kansas City. Gabbert had been listed as questionable for Sunday’s game because of a hairline fracture in his right thumb. Gabbert injured his grip finger in a preseason game Aug. 17. The Chiefs will be without starting right guard Jon Asamoah, who is inactive today with an injury.
The New Orleans Saints get coach Sean Payton back following his full-year suspension in the bounty scandal that affected the Saints during their non-playoff season last year. The Saints host Atlanta.
Seattle opens at Carolina in a year at Seahawks fans hope may end with a Super Bowl trip. Quintin Mikell, who was signed to the roster Monday, will start at strong safety for the Panthers after Mike Mitchell (calf) was declared inactive.
Cincinnati is at Soldier Field to play the Bears. This is the first season since 1999 that Brian Urlacher will not be patrolling the middle of the Bears defense. The veteran linebacker retired in the offseason.
The New England Patriots are at Buffalo in an AFC East affair. Bills safety Jairus Byrd (Clayton, Mo. HS alum)has been listed as inactive for the season opener with a foot injury. Buffalo’s defensive backfield is already missing starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who will miss the first month of the season with a broken left wrist.
Minnesota is at Detroit. Lions fans are hoping the addition of Reggie Bush to the Detroit backfield will help diversify the Lions offense and give QB Matthew Stafford some breathing room.
Miami is at Cleveland, Tennessee is at Pittsburgh, Oakland is at Indianapolis and Tampa Bay is at the Meadowland to play the Jets. Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis is active and expecting to start against his former team.
In later starts, Green Bay is at San Francisco in a replay of the NFC playoff game last year when Niners QB Colin Kaepernick ran for 181 yards against the Packers defense. That is a record for rushing for a quarterback in a playoff game.
Arizona visits St. Louis to play the Rams. St. Louis is the youngest team in the NFL. The Rams have replaced star running back Steven Jackson with 23-year-old Daryl Richardson in a display of their youth movement.
The night game has the New York Giants visiting newly rechristened AT&T Stadium to play the Cowboys. The Giants are coming off a 9-7 season and meet a Dallas team that missed out on the playoffs last season. Giants QB Eli Manning has never lost to the Cowboys in Arlington.